Fire Horse is superb, i'm amazed at how solid a sense of form and volume the horse has with so little "dramatic" lighting, which could have been overdone given the subject, but isn't at all. my only comment is that to me, the horse seems to be taking it a little too calmly, i'd expect maybe a bit more of a hint of terror at that much flame, but then again, i'm not a horse person, and maybe that's not right for the story being illustrated.
lack of shadows in Charmed to Death is a bit unsettling -- the cat & the books keep levitating a bit
the cat in Witch Way to Murder is so perfectly characterized, a little swagger, a lot of curiosity. also the best rendition of stars i've seen in quite a while -- just the right amount of brilliance for a clear summer night. superb piece.
The lower body of the horse in red and the reflected lights on the fore legs are HOT! literally and paris-hilton style. The horse is rather expressionless compared to the girl's face. I know its hard to make a horse show expression when your tackling for a realistic look. meh
The other 2 dont excite me as much. But you ARE working with some pretty lame material
These are the covers for the first two books in a series about a mystery solving witch
But still the 2 compositions are really similar. We have the classic "lower-right-foreground-cropped-still life"
And we have the "lower-left-starting-point-for-the-eye-to-lead-to-the-focal point" (the path in the first one and the 2 sets of books/star in the last piece)
But you sure do have them oils skillz. The fire is elite in the first one. As are the books on the shelves in the last
and now some questions for Sir Tristan!
Since you are painting traditionally, does the client give you more time as opposed to a digital painter who's also working on the same project?
What are the perks of painting traditionally (besides owning an original and wow-ing the client with it!) I mean, with an original, the editors would have to lug a huge piece of canvas around, being careful not to damage it, then take a proffesional foto shot, adjusting the color in PS, etc etc. Seems like a hassle than to just recieve a hi-res TIFF file via email...
(And it is possible to get the same finished effect with digital paint when the final image is gonna be shrinked down to fit on a book cover!)
Last edited by Denart; March 2nd, 2006 at 08:52 PM.
Thanks. Typecasting can be a problem for any professional, the trick is to find something new in every piece.
Greg, praise from you is high praise indeed, as I'm continually blown away by your work. Just honesty, right back at you.
Thanks, I'll try to post some close-ups.
How do I do it? Devil paint!
Interesting observations about the cat paintings. Honestly, most of it is unconscious.
el coro -
Thanks. Good luck with the show this weekend... I wish you nothing but red dots!
Yeah, I probably could have pushed the glow further.
Thanks, it means a lot coming from you.
It's actually very subtle three point perspective. You can see my ref in the "post your reference" thread. That doesn't mean it's not wrong, though!
I too would have liked to have the fire influencing the girl and the horse more, but I didn't think I could fake it convincingly.
I do it all for you .
Thanks, there's more coming soon, I promise!
Thank you. Capturing the color and quality of light is one of the most interesting parts of painting for me.
Not sure about A.O.L.... If I can get Irene a mini painting for the auction she might let me sneak in.
The Dahesh show will blow your mind!!!!!!
Thanks a lot. Yeah, I get it... shadows. I actually have a partial excuse, I'll leave it to the end.
Thanks. It's something I have to keep reminding myself of as well.
I know what you mean. Mystery covers, by their very nature, tend to be more quite and decorative.
You're probably right, but it was a matter of balancing drama with readability. Strong cast shadows would have been yet another compositional element to deal with.
Yeah, I work insanely small for this kind of thing. Give the Mrs. a hug from me.
Sorry, can't help you there...
You're right. They're probably going to crop most of her face off anyway, though, so i didn't refine it as much as i usually would have.
The horse is supposed to be the kind that were trained to pull fire wagons in the 19th century, hence the lack of panic. I did try to get a little wildness in her eyes, though.
Thank you, and you're welcome.
Clients give me more time because I'm slow . As for traditional vs. digital, the advantage of oils for me is that it's what I know how to do best. I don't think there is any real advantage for the client beyond an individual artist's look. It's certainly more convenient for them to receive art digitally, so I'll often turn in a scan rather than the original (which allows me to be in control of cleanup, color correction, etc.).
Thank you, sir.
What more can one ask for?
The compositions on the cat pieces were to a large extent determined by the cover format, which has the author's name at the top and the title, large, at the bottom.
*Now, about the lack of strong shadows in the second kitty piece. Originally I had painted the floor a light beige, to look like the kind of carpet you might see in a library. The art director decided they wanted it that dark blue-green, so the entire floor had to be repainted around all the elements... one of the decided disadvantages to not working digitally . In the process, a lot of the darkness under the book stacks and cat that was originally there got lost, partially because of the reduced value range and partially by accident.
Last edited by Elwell; March 3rd, 2006 at 03:23 AM.
Beautiful. I don't know what else to add to the good things that has been said. Your horses rock. The new version is really good, it has a different vibe, though I dare say the black horse painting has a bigger umph. Perhaps the intense blacks and reds grab me more. Still both well done, hats off to you!
Very nice tristan, i really like the way you draw kids
Something just occured to me on the cat cover with the pentagram, is it possible that the book case is a little too high up? im not really sure but something seems a tiny bit off, especially when i saw your ref. Maybe its my own mind though.
The new batch are really really nice I like them alot Im curious about where the text goes in them, and if you plan that ahead of time, or if someone else worries about that later?
awesome again Elwell. but i think the hand with the spear is a bit to masculine. perhaps its the nails? or the deep texture of the hand like shes been working with hard labour or something. other then that great photo realism. the kids are amazing.
ah! oils over acrylics. I'v heard of many artists that do this (brom). any reasons why this is such a used method?
I would think its the acrylic's fast drying time and how natural it is to glaze with them -- just add water!
cool dragon design and textures
the kids look like they're from the 90's... 8)
Great realism in the 2nd piece
Nitpick: the composition in TOO PERFECT, in a bad way... Look at how the clouds appear to part way as if to frame the staff...the same with the buildings.
And the staff divides the piece into perfect halves. Buy at least its not the corner to corner halves!
hmm, what if you were to make the staff all wet and shimmering?
Hehehe, those kids do look like they're from the 90s. Especially the Asian kid's glasses and the front kid's jean jacket. Love that last pic - the sleeve and staff could maybe look wet, but if the person is sinking it makes sense that they're dry.
Tristan I really enjoy the skill level of your work and always look forward to seeing your paintings in the annuals. I hope you don't mind if I throw in my two cents worth concernings denart's question about oils over acrylics. Glazing with arcrylics and glazing with oils are really two different things. When you use water to glaze the water evaporates and leaves the pigment binding to the previous layer whereas (great word huh?) when you glaze with oils your pigment is suspended in a medium (I happen to go the easy route and use an alkyd medium like Liquin). This suspension allows light to relect and refract through the layers giving a richer more vibrant light and color feeling. You can achieve almost the same effect with acrylics if you suspend a pigment rich paint (like Golden fluid acrylics) in a gloss acrylic medium. But I also use oils at the end of a lot of my pieces because transitions and blending can be easier and more satisfying in certain situations. There are things that each medium can do much better than the other. Anyway that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
That "Fall of Knight" cover is stunning. I love it. Fantastic control and quality in every respect.
"Dragon Magic" looks very good too, I've always liked the way you handle faces, very believable and full of character. Heh, good call on the '90s look, Denart, it works though. Kinda retro in a good way. Great sense of depth and use of colour on those shards of dragon-wing-glass-exploding-stuff too.
"Fire Horse" is awesome too, I really like how you worked the fire and the horse, however the girl's dress seems kinda off, the fire looks to be slightly in front of her and off to the side, shouldn't it be highlighting the edges of her dress like it is on the horse's legs?
The two catty/witchy ones... I'm not so hot about. They're still good, but they don't have the *oomph* factor that the others do, IMHO. Bearing in mind that I'm insanely nitpicky, too, it's easier to point out some perceived oddities in these two. In the graveyard scene, the cat's foremost leg seems an odd shape, it looks like it should be straight but seems broken around the knee, not sure it should bend like that? Also, the stone on the left seems to be dedicated to someone called "JONATHN".
The pentagram scene is more appealing to me, the colours are bolder although the composition again seems a tad too central? That may be something that doesn't show as such when the text is on the cover though. Someone previously made a point about the book case being too high up, I think that's true, it does seem slightly out of the perspective implied by the stacks of books in the foreground. Also, the book leaning at an angle in the top right of the piece seems to be floating (mainly because it's leaning back much further than the distance of it's base from the shelf seems to indicate it would be).
That said, those last crits were rather outrageous nitpicks, and chances are the majority wouldn't notice them, wouldn't agree with me, or wouldn't care
I always enjoy seeing new work from you, your handling of the medium is masterful.
Love your stuff. The "Fall of Knight" particularly knocked my socks off (though I do agree the hand is a bit masculine) "Witch way.. " and "Charmed..." both seem a bit flat compared to your other works, but all are handled rather well. Would love to see the lighting on "Charmed.." fixed so that the cat either casts a shadow or is affected more by the glow from underneath. Thanks for the kick in the ass.